Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cutting certain greenhouse gases could slow sea level rise

A quick way to stave off impending sea level rise is to cut emissions of short-lived climate warmers such as methane and soot, researchers suggest. Carbon dioxide, the main cause of anthropogenic climate change, can linger in the atmosphere for more than a century. So slashing C[O.sub.2] output will not immediately halt global warming and its consequences. A faster way may be to limit methane, ozone, hydrofluorocarbons and soot, also known as black carbon. These greenhouse gases and particles stay aloft only weeks to years. Recent work shows that this approach may decrease the expected rise in global temperatures by about 0.6 degrees C by 2050. A team led by Veerabhadran Ramanathan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., wondered whether cutting these four climate pollutants would also slow warming-associated sea level rise. The researchers ran climate simulations in which emissions of these pollutants--or gases that ultimately produce the pollutants--shrank by 30 to 50 percent over the next few decades. Sea level rise dropped 10 percent by 2050 and 22 percent by 2100 compared with simulations without these cuts, the team reports April 14 in Nature Climate Change.

Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)
Wayman, Erin. "Cutting certain greenhouse gases could slow sea level rise." Science News 4 May 2013: 20. Environmental Studies and Policy. Web. 16 May 2013.
Document URL

Gale Document Number: GALE|A329066598

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